Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda army and Police have briefed the media on ongoing security operations that have culminated with recent arrests of leaders of the notorious Kifeesi criminal group, and that of the Boda Boda 2010 militia.
The army’s deputy spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki and Police spokesperson SSP Emilian Kayima assured the press at the Media Centre that all the recent arrests are being coordinated and jointly implemented by inteligence units of the army and police.
Akiiki said the recent murder of of Case Hospital accountant Francis Ekalungar sparked off the crackdown as the various security organisations tried find out what was behind the crime. “Security agencies have since been working together to bring murder suspects Ekalugar to book.”
He revealed that the operation started on Friday with the arrest of one of the suspects Huzairu Kiwalabye. “Acting on human and precise technical intelligence, we arrested Kiwalabye. In the process some sympathisers tried to obstruct the arrest but were overcome,” he said.
The army deputy spokesman said a joint operation resulted into several other suspects being apprehended, including the Boda Boda 2010 leader Hajji Abdallah Kitata.
Akiiki said that after interrogating Kiwalabye, the investigators found a need to make further arrests including Kitata, a brother to Kiwalabye.
Akiiki told the press that on Sunday 21st January,2018 a search was conducted following leads from the arrested suspects and a vehicle Registration Number UAW 899U Toyota Premio in which the late Ekalugar was kidnapped was recovered with altered number plate to UAT 764L.
“Investigations are going on. CMI, ISO and police investigators are all doing their work. We are working for the security of Ugandans whoever you are, ” said Akiiki, adding that “There are people that we want and are still on the run but all I can tell them is that we will get them, this is for the security of everyone and so we had to work together.”
Mawa Muzamiru, a driver to proprietor of Case Clinic Dr Ssebale Kato, a one Kikandi Muhindo plus David Bizimana, a Congolese national at whose residence the vehicle of the late Ekalugar was found, were also arrested.
“There were attempts to obstruct the officers from arresting the suspects…. Including at Top Radio. This included obstruction by closing roads. This led to arrests of more than 20 people.”
The briefing comes just hours after riot police and the army rushed to Nateete, Bukesa and Makindye on the outskirts of Kampala after a rival section of the Boda Boda 2010 motorcyle riders group set their offices and property on fire.
Several motorcyle riders, many of them said to be attached to Century Boda Boda association, were seen raiding and setting property at the offices on fire as they celebrated the weekend raids that had the leader of the Boda Boda 2010 Hajji Kitata arrested.
Military police and police intervened to stop the damage of property. They later ferried away, as evidence, most of the property at the different Boda Boda 2010 offices.
Operatives of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) together with Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and the Military Police raided the offices in Kampala of the Boda Boda 2010, an organisation led by Kitata and made several arrests at the weekend. CMI also raided Top Radio, where several Boda Boda 2010 officials were being hosted.
Kitata is also the chairman of ruling party NRM Lubaga division, Kampala and had turned the Boda Boda 2010 into a militia that involved themselves in politics and worked with the Uganda police, according to them, to resolve crime in the city.
Reports indicate that the raids followed CMI’s arrest earlier of of a member of Kitata’s Boda Boda 2010 group, in connection with the murder of Case Hospital accountant Francis Ekalungar. Ekulangar was found dead, burned beyond recognition a fortnight back.
Security officials searched the home of one of the Boda Boda 2010 leaders in Kabowa on Sunday where they found a vehicle suspected to have been taken from Case Clinic accountant Ekalungar who was murdered .
Boda Boda 2010 office in Nateete burnt by rival boda boda riders following the arrest of Abdul Kitatta over the weekend. They accuse the vigilante-cum-militia outfit of torturing them (boda boda riders) via ? @bamulanzeki pic.twitter.com/fjky6LalVQ
— The Observer (@observerug) January 22, 2018
The arrests come days after Police struggled to explain the release on bond of Kifeesi leader Paddy Sserunjogi alias Ssobi. Ssobi had been arrested on Monday by Police as he addressed a press conference, the second in a month in which he explained recent crime waves in the city and admitted working with security forces.
Police Chief Kale Kayihura told parliament’s committee on security mid-week that he had been asked by the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to release Ssobi, but also added that his only connection to another organisation Boda Boda 2010 was because its leader Kitata had been useful in the fight against crime in the city.
A day later, CMI raided Boda Boda 2010 and reports indicate that those among the arrested is Kitata.
Boda Boda 2010 last year dominated the news for their involvoment in politics, most especially during the age limit debate. They targeted those opposing the change in the constitution.
In the operations against crime in Kampala, late last year, two senior commanders in the Uganda Police Force were arrested by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
Assistant Commissioner of Police Joel Aguma was in October last year charged jointly with eight other security personnel including the former commandant of special Operations Unit Nixon Agasirwe for alleged kidnap of two Rwandese nationals whom they allegedly conveyed to Kigali against their will.
The officers are being investigated and are in the Court Martial over a wide range of high profile cases handled by the unit during the recent past including the murders of Assistant Inspector General of Police (IGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi. Other accusations include operating private cells and orchestrating armed robberies and committing abuses against refugees in the country including repatriating some of the refugees back to their countries of origin against their will.